There are several arguments advanced for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) following widely documented issues around the quality of services being rendered to the public over the years and in recent times, cases of abuses and unprofessionalism registered largely by the Nigeria youth against a department of the NPF popularly known as SARS. This article seeks to bring to the forefront quality tools and standards as best practices and approaches that can be explored to help create a reformed, repositioned, reengineered and refocussed NPF capable of pitching tent with top-class national security organization set up in other geographies to provide internal security, protect citizens and preserve human rights.
Granted, attempts have been made to change the fortune and image of the NPF over the years by successive governments since 1979.Efforts made include change of name, change of uniform, change of command structures, increase in salaries amongst other initiatives. In recent times, 79 recommendations were contributed from interested parties towards improvement of the NPF which currently have staff strength of 371,350.
Though a new police reform bill of 2020 has just been passed into law for the management and administration of the NPF, the understated approaches would be handy and complimentary.
The primary proposal is the adoption and implementation of standards developed and published by International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) for the management of all elements of the Nigeria Police Force and specific enough to address identified and relevant concerns.
Top police organizations across the globe have embraced ISO certification. For instance, Dubai Police Force (DBF) has implemented more than three ISO standards and obtained ISO certification for some areas including call centre management, collaborative business relationship management with stakeholders and structural (quality) management. Besides, DBF have gone through process reengineering and initiated successful automation projects leading to formation of smart police stations in which case no interaction with physical police man is required by the Dubai citizens , and have an ongoing project to achieve a police workforce with 30% Robotic Officers by the year 2030. Benchmarking as a tool is therefore helpful to enhance focus and measure success when changes or reforms are designed. Nigeria Police Force leadership may need to consider this view.
Moreover, it is decent to state that ISO management system standards induce organizations to set, communicate and measure “SMART” objectives across all areas of the organization. This, as a result, promotes ownership and accountability.
Competence plays a vital role in defining the quality of service and performance of an organization. ISO 27002 provides guidance on how to manage risk associated with human resource security which is very relevant to the NPF reform and anticipated image. The standard provides guidance on how to manage prospective worker prior to employment, during the employment and termination and change of employment. Following through and implementing totally the requirements of this standard with respect to human resource security will help the Force separate the wheat from the chaff from the onset.
Plotting appropriate DNA of an average worker in the organization should be one of the priorities and bridging gaps in culture through measurable cultural and change management programmes deployment should be considered.
To sum up, there are other tools such as Ishikawa diagram which is used to establish root causes of problems; causes of the issues raised over time by the public against the police can be determined painstakingly. SWOT analysis is also an essential tool. Any combination of tools or approaches arising from benchmark studies or peer review or any known methods or best practices used to solve problems or drive change in an organization will always require a top down approach where leaders lead, work the talks and deeply demonstrate high level of commitment to change programs and implementation of best practices standards- ISO standards. In the matter of the Nigeria Police Force and much needed reforms, quality tools and ISO Standards will provide public service assurance and enhance the drive to meet the yearning of all stakeholders.
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